Hilton Worldwide Holdings reported its first-quarter 2020 results today, which showed that despite the global reach of the company, COVID-19 did not have a significant effect on its business until March.
Hilton turned a profit to the tune of $18 million in the first quarter of 2020 - down from $159 million for the same period in 2019 - despite the threat of the coronavirus.
According to Christopher J. Nassetta, Hilton’s president/CEO, the company is taking a number of steps to not only survive the pandemic, but to eventually thrive.
"Given the strength of our system and dedication of our people, we believe we are well-positioned to navigate this crisis and ultimately recover stronger."
According to the earnings report, Hilton's first-quarter results were not significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic until March 2020, with the exception of the Asia Pacific region. Occupancy was roughly flat through February in the Americas and Europe, Middle East and Africa regions.
The company has begun to see a recovery in its Asia/Pacific region. In China, occupancy as of May 4 was approximately 40 percent, up from about 9 percent in early February, and nearly all of the approximately 150 hotels that had suspended operations have reopened.
Nassetta also noted that it could take "several years" to return to the demand levels experienced in 2019. "Quarter two will not be pretty, but hopefully quarter three and quarter four we'll be on the road to recovery," he said.
Before Hilton will see a recovery, it still has to overcome the first half of 2020.